After a disappointing and drama filled season in 2018, the Pittsburgh Steelers look to rebound in the 2019 campaign. After making the playoffs the previous four seasons, the Steel Curtain failed to make a postseason appearance last year. Many preseason rankings have the team finishing in second place, competing with the Cleveland Browns for the division title.
The Steelers have never had a losing season under head coach Mike Tomlin and there’s no reason to believe that streak will end in 2019. With the departures of All-Pros Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, the new look Steelers will turn to their young stars, JuJu Smith-Schuster who played a crucial WR2 role and James Conner who had a breakout season with the absence of Bell, to help veteran Ben Roethlisberger get the job done. While not exactly Bell-like, Conner accounted for 13 touchdowns and nearly 1,500 yards of offense.
Big Ben led the NFL in passing yards last season and while the team lost its top receiver Brown, making JuJu the primary receiver, Roethlisberger doesn’t look like he’s lost a step. Although Brown is seen as a unique talent and one of the best, if not the best, receiver in the league, there is still a bright spot for Steelers fans as it is JuJu who led the team in receptions and yards all while having less targets than AB. It will be hard to replace Brown’s 15 touchdown catches, but the Steelers are likely better off without the major on and off-field drama.
While Patrick Mahomes starts the season as the bookmaker’s favorite for most passing yards at +450, Big Ben is right behind him at +800 and if he puts up similar numbers to last year, he could very well give Mahomes a run for his money. Whilst JuJu is an elite wide receiver, the loss of Brown will make it hard for him to maintain that status as defenses will now shine the spotlight on him. There’s no question the Steelers will put the ball in the air, but Ben did throw the most interceptions in the league last season with 16 so they may look to run the ball more especially with an electric, young running back.
Although a pass first offense, Conner’s breakout season last year primes him for another successful campaign as the premier running back. According to Fantasy Pros.com, Conner will have a very similar year to last with the 24-year-old projected to amass 1,476 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season he totaled 1470 yards and 13 touchdowns despite missing three games due to injury.
Tipped to finish second behind the Cleveland Browns in the AFC North with odds at +195, the Steelers can still make the playoffs as a wild card. A tough start with a trip to New England on the opening weekend and then hosting the Seahawks in week two can help fans get a sense of where their team will stand this season.
Look for the Steelers to be right in the heat of the playoff race as they attempt to stave off division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, both of who are young and ready to take over as the top dog, or as the Browns would say, dawg. If there is anything to learn from the Steelers for Online Sports Betting, it’s that they are one of the most successful franchises for a reason as they always find a way to win.
The Steelers may be on the outside looking in, but if they happen to turn the season into a success here are some odds to keep an eye on as they are exciting enough to win big.
Super Bowl Odds– +2200
To make the Playoffs: Yes +100/ No -121
AFC North Odds: +175
Conference Champion: +1200